Bishop Theophilus Ajose, a prince of Badagry, is the former chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ikeja Chapter, Lagos and Director of leader of Social Security in the Interdenominational Unit of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). The respected Pentecostal leader, who heads the Bishop Ajose Ministries International, Ikeja, Lagos, believes that the political leadership has not demonstrated seriousness in the fight against terrorism and banditry in the country. This failure on the part of the government is the major reason that the spate of killings in the country has not been curbed. In this interview, he speaks on this, his years growing up as a prince of Badagry Town, Lagos and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, the Northern Governors Forum met to discuss the insecurity in the land. Please can you give us any insight on how to tackle the situation?
The insecurity in the country cannot be solved from one angle alone. I have attended several meetings with the Department of State Services (DSS) and other the arms of the government on behalf of the church. And they have told us their major challenges and how churches should maintain security, as well as how these killers infiltrate our land. By and large, we discovered that it is a government issue. It is the role of government to protect the lives and property of the citizenry. The church does not have police; we don’t have arms to help ourselves. We don’t have the power of arrest. It is the government that is responsible for protecting the people. You have a situation where the government says the armed men attacking and sacking communities, killing, maiming, kidnapping Nigerians are foreigners, and yet none of the culprits have has been arrested raises serious concerns. How can foreigners be attacking us in our own land? Is it that they have declared war against our nation? So, there must be a willingness on the part of the government to take the responsibility of ensuring the security of life and property seriously. We are left to wonder why the so-called foreigners can be allowed to freely attack Nigerians and sack whole communities. So what we do as a church is to pray and God has been helping us. God is the ultimate security for anybody.
What was it like growing up?
I was born a prince in the Badagry Kingdom, Lagos. My maternal grandfather was one of the missionaries in Nigeria. When the missionaries came, we gave them the land where they built the missionary house and they built the first storey building in Africa. The first Christmas was held in my father’s compound, and we used the storey building to hold the celebration. The building is still standing. We used to welcome the foreign missionaries who visited our community. My mother and all my aunties served the missionaries. As a member of the royal family, we used to wordship the god of iron and stone. Later attended St Thomas Grammar School and at 13, I joined the Scripture Union. At a time my brother and I were driven from home because we became born again.
I have been a natural leader from primary school and was class captain in secondary school. You see, my father was a former Federal Commissioner of Health during the Muritala Muhammad regime. He was retired and wanted to contest for Governor of Lagos State before he died. After his death, life became difficult for us, everybody deserted us. It was not easy going through university for me and my brother; we did so many things to survive.
How did you cope with harsh realities of life?
We learnt how to drink garri without sugar; even to buy water to drink was not easy. To survive I began searching for jobs. One of my uncles helped me get into the Lagos State Water Corporation. I worked there for four years and then resigned to set up my own business. There was so much corruption at the time. I was the commercial manager for the whole of Ikeja area. From then I never earned a salary.
How then did you survive?
We survived by just the grace of God, who was very faithful. Looking back on that time, I cannot explain how it was possible except to just say that God was faithful.
Being leadership has it been for you?
Right from primary school, I was made a class captain. So, all along before I joined the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) I was praying. I had never heard of CAN before, but God told me to join CAN. So I went to meet a woman who lived close to me at Ogba and mentioned CAN to her; I asked her what CAN does and she just told me that the body would meet the next day and invited me to the meeting. At the meeting I was given a form and they nominated me to be the coordinator for Ogba; that was how the journey started. The spirit of leadership is such that if there were one million people in this house, I would be nominated. So, all in all, God has been our stay. In 1999, the Lord spoke to me because, I heard a voice in the cloud that he has called me, and it was the voice I heard that launched me into the intercessory ministry.
The COVID 19 pandemic has adversely affected our lives, especially religion, economy, and others. And have even queried the relevance of clerics and prophets in the society since none of them prophesied to warn the world about the deadly coronavirus. What is your take on this stance?
Since 2004, I have been holding 40 days fasting. I do this every year always between November and December. And by December 24 to 31 every year, I release prophecies for Nigeria and the whole world. And in December 2019, on the eve of 2020, the Lord told me an event was going to happen to the world that had never happened before. And that He was going to surprise those nations that call themselves superpowers, and will take the whole world by storm. There are a lot of things that the Lord said, which I cannot say to the press, because of the nature of the society we are in. But the most important thing is that God warned us ahead of that an event He said was going to happen to the world, to show the show the superpowers that He has the Sovereign power. You could see that when COVID-19 came all the superpowers that boasted that they have superior medical equipment suffered a higher number of fatalities, while the poor countries that do not have the best medical equipment have not even recorded 1,000 deaths since four or five months. But in one state alone in the US, Florida, they have recorded over 10,000 deaths per day in Florida.
So, the Lord revealed to us what happen ahead of time. We know that nothing happens without God revealing it. It’s just that the world does not listen to what the Lord tells us. We are still listening to ourselves, but it has now shown us that everybody has lost control of power. What they don’t even know how to handle, has affected everybody now.
So going to your questions, the Lord did reveal, but we did know the details of what would be involved. And each time God does that, He wants us to know, so that when we start praying He will listen to His children.
So what did God reveal as a solution to this pandemic?
The solution is to return to God. The solution is to recognise God as the only superpower. God says as long as the world does not recognise Him, He will keep on showing them that He is the Supreme power. The solution is prayer, and to return to the Lord. A lot of people think they know what to do, and can rule the whole world. So God is calling man to return to Him. He has wounded us and He will also heal us, and the second day he will raise us up. We can see that in the world now, families are praying to God, and in every house people worship God. We have more churches now than we had before the COVID-19 pandemic. God is calling people to pray. So everybody now has enough time to pray. The solution is to return to the Lord and to pray – that is what the Lord is making us see. And we thank the Lord for that.
Has there been any time God’s revelation and prophecy to you never came to pass?
A lot of us don’t know much about prophecy. Prophecies are time-bound and time-sensitive. Angel Gabriel told Zechariah that he would become dumb because he could not believe his prophecy that would be fulfilled at the appointed time. Everybody is attached to his appointed time of fulfilment. When Jesus Christ was to come, right from the garden of Eden, all the people in Israel knew there was a time for Jesus Christ to come, a time for him to be revealed. There is nothing like God giving his prophecy free time for it to be revealed; the Lord might have spoken it three to four years back, yet it will come to fulfilment. The issue is that the church of God which is supposed to be a people of prophecy does not even understand prophecies.
There are some prophecies in the Bible that are yet to be fulfilled, yet God spoke to those prophets at that time. Everything has its own time of fulfilment. We must have the sovereign time of fulfilment. So, if God has spoken, it will come to pass, so we need to find the divine time of the fulfilment of the divine prophecy of God.
He may have revealed this many years ago. God may not call it COVID-19, because it is the name that scientists gave it in the world. But in the Bible they are called plagues and afflictions; that is just the way it is.